WATSONVILLE—Watsonville Police say they are taking seriously threats made on social media of a “barbaric protest” that is set to begin at the Overlook Shopping Center on Main Street at 5pm.
The garish yellow flier that circulated widely featured a drawing of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis, Minn. on May 25 after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes.
The flier ended with the phrase, “Justice is served.”
Watsonville Police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said that the department is adding additional staff to patrol the city.
“We have to take these types of threats to the community seriously,” Pulido said.
All of the windows in the Target store are completely boarded up, and a crew from Sacramento-based KDC Construction was busy putting up boards over the windows of the Starbucks. A worker said it was the sixth Starbucks the crew had boarded up.
Santa Cruz on Wednesday saw two separate protests, the larger of which was estimated at 6,000 and was considered peaceful.
For the second one, a group of about 100 people gathered at the Santa Cruz Police Department later that day, where they caused about $10,000 in damage before committing more acts of vandalism in the downtown area.
Police are asking everyone to stay out of the area.
“Out of an abundance of caution, our officers, with help from other law enforcement agencies, will also be monitoring other commercial areas in town,” she said.
Pulido stressed that WPD supports the right to peacefully protest.
“However, we will not tolerate violence and destruction to our community and local businesses,” she said.